Yacht Charter Your Way

The owner of the 116-foot Azimut Yachts Tail Lights set up his yacht so charter guests feel like it's their personal boat.
Azimut Tail Lights
Accommodations are for as many as 12 guests in five staterooms, including a full-beam master amidships with a private entrance, separate from the guest staterooms. Courtesy HMY Yachts

Lee Mandel doesn’t talk much about his 52-foot Sea Ray, which he skippers with friends and family up and down the US East Coast. Instead, the boat he’s eager to discuss—all day, every day—is the 116-foot Azimut Tail Lights, which he bought in 2019.

And the first thing he’ll tell you, if you’re thinking about chartering Tail Lights? You should think of it as your yacht, right down to the advance provisioning allowance.

Azimut Tail Lights
The hot tub on Tail Lights is sized to fit six people. Also on this deck is a wet bar, along with spaces to spread out in the sun. Guests can choose their favorite way to chill out. Courtesy HMY Yachts

“I want the guests to feel like it’s their vessel,” Mandel says. “If they’re repeat clients, we’ll pay some of the taxes. We’ll offset their APA costs. We’ll give them some extra days. Our goal is to get every customer to want to come back.”

That approach to the charter business has Tail Lights already booking guests for the Bahamas and Caribbean into 2025, with an average notice of three to five months, and with a rotating crew to avoid burnout. Mandel says regular maintenance is also a key component of the Tail Lights charter program, along with investments that help guests have memorable experiences aboard the 2011 build.

Azimut Tail Lights
Tail Lights charters with a 32-foot Scout tender, a personal watercraft, sea scooters, stand-up paddleboards and inflatable toys that can all be launched off the swim platform. Courtesy HMY Yachts

“One of the things I saw a lot of the yachts doing was theme nights. I wanted to give the crew technology to create incredible themes,” Mandel says. “Now we have disco night, pirate night, ’70s night, and we tie it into the electronics and AV on the boat. There’s a smoke machine. There’s disco lighting throughout the boat. We have a DJ system.” In the Bahamas, he partners with Furze Entertainment to bring various entertainers on board. “We have a singer who sings as well as Whitney Houston,” Mandel says. “We have a saxophonist who’s on the bow performing. We have steel-drum bands that come on the boat. We’ve had magicians. We’ve even had fire dancers on land. We’ve created a whole entertainment portfolio of partners we work with.”    

Azimut Tail Lights
Charter guests who want to enjoy formal meals on board have that option. The warm woodwork and rich ambience carry through to the guest staterooms as well. Courtesy HMY Yachts

Charter Details

  • HMY Yachts manages Tail Lights for charter.  
  • Accommodations are for as many as 12 guests in five staterooms, including a full-beam master amidships with a private entrance, separate from the guest staterooms. 
  • Bahamas bookings are typically available from May or June through the summer season.
  • Caribbean itineraries generally start around November and go through the winter.
  • Flash drives of photos and videos from the charter are given to guests as a keepsake.